Topics: Waterways

Towns Mull Dredge Purchase

By: Tim Wood

Costs, Benefits Of Owning Equipment Locally Examined During the past few weeks, officials in both Chatham and Orleans have raised the prospect of their respective towns purchasing a dredge. But with Barnstable County now owning and operating two dredges, does it make sense, economically or otherwise, for individual towns to buy what is an expensive and high-maintenance piece of equipment? “It does not,” sai...

ORLEANS — Everyone agrees that Uncle Harvey's Pond needs help, but there are several opinions on how to restore its health. Last week, marine and fresh water quality committee chair Carolyn Kennedy presented an environmental assessment of the freshwater pond's status and a proposed management plan. She told selectmen of “a series of toxic blue-green algae and cyanobacteria outbreaks over the last several yea...

Town Nixes Emergency Dredging Of Harbor Entrance

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — The dredging of a key Chatham Harbor access channel faced a number of obstacles, like obtaining emergency permits, addressing opposition from a neighbor, and tackling malfunctioning equipment. But in the end, the project was done in by early-season easterlies. Persistent winds from the east have caused ocean swells to come through the North Inlet, exposing the county dredge to dangerous conditions,...

HARWICH — There is a proposal in the works to restore oyster beds in the Herring River that could also serve to improve estuary's health. The oyster reef proposal would be a cooperative venture between the town's natural resources department and the conservation commission. Oysters have become a recognized source of filtration for the ability to process carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus at high rates, byprodu...

ORLEANS — For some, the town's ship of state is hung up on a sandbar, unable to sail through the planning and permitting necessary to dredge the Nauset Estuary and allow commercial and pleasure craft to navigate more easily between Town Cove and Nauset Inlet. “There IS an emergency in Nauset Marsh,” Charles Carlson wrote to selectmen Kevin Galligan and Mefford Runyon Sept. 3. “Yet, to the best of my knowledge,...

ALC Chair: Town Should Purchase Yacht Club Pier

By: Tim Wood

CHATHAM – Given the evolving conditions in Chatham Harbor, having an alternate location for commercial fishing boats to offload their catch, once a long-term strategy, is looking more like a necessity. Officials had that use in mind when the town purchased of the Eldredge Trap Dock on Stage Harbor in 2016, and plans are in process to modernize the pier to accommodate at least some commercial fishing boats. In ...

ORLEANS — Watching Garrett Loparto unload tub after tub from his lobster boat at Mill Pond landing last week, you might have thought that all was well in his world. Think again. Silting in the Nauset Estuary, which Loparto and other Orleans fishermen must navigate to reach the inlet to the ocean, is “why I have to fish out of a slow boat, so I can lift my motor out,” he said. “All the other guys have 32- to 35...

Selectmen OK Emergency North Inlet Dredging

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — Once logistical details are worked out, crews will begin widening and deepening a critical channel providing access to Chatham Harbor, despite threats of a lawsuit from a shorefront property owner. In a special meeting last Wednesday, the board of selectmen authorized the county dredge to conduct the work, and a necessary permit was received from state officials later in the week. Together with the...

Trap Dock Revitalization Gets $150K Seaport Grant

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — The effort to modernize the town-owned trap dock on Stage Harbor received a $150,000 boost from the state Seaport Economic Council last Tuesday. Officials are finishing development of the conceptual plan for the facility, purchased by the town several years ago for $1.5 million. It is flanked on the east by town-owned land at the former Old Mill Boat Yard, where the harbormaster’s office is located...

Health Officials: Go On In, The Water’s Fine

By: Debra Lawless

Good news: The fresh and salt waters of Harwich, Chatham and Orleans have remained clean and safe for swimmers all summer, according to health agents in the three towns. “So far there have been no exceedances or failures of our beaches,” says Harwich Health Director Meggan Eldredge. “There are no complaints. Honestly, I don’t know of any last year, either.” One minor issue in 2017 was that Red River Beach had ...

CHATHAM – In its first year, the town's waterways user permit seemed to find its way onto most vessels in town, although revenue was slightly below projections. Waterways officials had projected the fee would generate up to $175,000 annually. In 2017, the permit brought in $170,225, according to Finance Director Alix Heilala. Part of that shortfall may be because of delays in billing and loss of moorings in...

Harwich Harbors Shaping Up For Boating Season

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The county dredge Codfish was scheduled to moved into the Allen Harbor channel this week to remove 8,000 cubic yards of sand. Harbormaster John Rendon said the sand will be used as nourishment for nearby public beaches. The Codfish just finished dredging the Saquatucket Harbor channel where material was placed on both public and private beaches in the area. The town received several bids from shorefr...

Eroded Barrier Beach Fills Channels, Irks Boaters

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — The power’s back on, the downed trees are all removed, but boaters are still feeling the effects of the series of storms that savaged the shoreline this winter. Fueled by severe erosion on the outer beach, shoaling has threatened a number of key waterways, including the Morris Island Cut, which last year provided easy passage from Nantucket Sound to Chatham Harbor and the Atlantic. For now, that me...

HARWICH — An unfamiliar gong was penetrating the fog along Red River Beach last week. It was a sound familiar to mariners looking for the Chatham Roads Bell Buoy 3, the aid to navigation was close to 1.6 nautical miles off-station. The bell buoy was pulled from its station by ice in Nantucket Sound in January and the Coast Guard has made a couple of unsuccessful attempts to reset it. With the boating season un...

An interesting description of the salt lakes of Australia is given by a writer in the Sydney Empire, who... says... “Mounds of earth... can be seen for miles. The water is clear and soft. It is impregnated with magnesia, soda and alum. It is very palatable to drink, and I think very wholesome...” The Chatham Monitor, Oct. 25, 1871 Alum treatments, which have been used to improve pond health on Cape Cod by...

Harbor Update For Mariners Saturday

By: Cape Cod Chronicle

CHATHAM – It was a wild winter for the town's waterways, and boaters will definitely need to assess conditions before heading out this summer. To update local mariners on current navigation conditions, the Monomoy Yacht Club will host its annual harbor update session this Saturday, June 9, at 10 a.m. at the community center. Four nor'easters between January and March rearranged shoals in Chatham Harbor, the...